Russian Linux: The Push Continues
We've talked about the concept of national Linux distributions before, and the Russians are a nation that has engaged in previous attempts to standardize on Linux. Recently, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, made an announcement of a renewed effort towards open source adoption on a massive, despite the previous failures.
Armchair pundits have had to make do with translated versions of the report and of the announcement, but what seems clear is that under the new plan Russian institutions will undergo a transition to open source software between 2011 and 2015. For example, the translated document specifies that in the fourth quarter of 2011, federal institutions will engage in:
Formation of the base package of free software solutions for typical problems of the federal executive bodies with the needs of the federal bodies of executive power in the types of software.
Followed by, in the second quarter of 2012:
Creating and maintaining a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power.
The whole 25 point plan runs along these lines, and it's detailed and well thought out. In fact, this focused plan of action reveals two truths about the Russian governmental attitude towards open source software:
Firstly, despite failures in the past, the powers in charge are determined to go through with adopting Linux and open source. This shows just how much value they attach to FOSS adoption.
Secondly, the documentation shows that Russian policy makers have learned, the hard way, that an uncoordinated and vague initiative is unlikely to succeed. As I mentioned in my earlier article, any initiative to move over to Linux is typically doomed if it is not part of a coordinated strategy. For example, I would argue that a plan to move all schools over to Open Office as the de facto office suite would have more chance of success than a plan to move one part of the school system entirely over to Linux and open source.
The dissemination of the announcement on the forums has been mixed. The competence of governments to efficiently organize large projects of this nature is a theme that always rears its head in these discussions.
The success of open source software anywhere benefits open source software in general, but some of the commenters suggested that the Russian government might not want to share improvements that they make to source code. I think that this is unlikely because it would be technically difficult to make modifications to the source code without sharing those changes, as anyone who has been involved with the maintenance of backports will attest.
The commentary also reveals a bias on the part of English speaking nations against the trustworthiness of a former cold war foe. These comments themselves fall into two categories, suggesting both that the Russian state may add security back-doors for its own nefarious purposes and that the plan might itself be motivated by a fear that American companies are secretly complicit with US government schemes of the same type.
Certainly, events such as the recent Stuxnet worm saga, that allegedly harmed the Iranian nuclear program, are a point in favor of Linux, and John Le Carrier would be intrigued by the level of imagination on display. However, I suspect that the Russians want to move over to FOSS for the same, slightly mundane, reasons as most of us: reduced costs, freedom from the whims of commercial companies along with greater flexibility and choice of solutions.
UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.
|Designing Electronics with Linux||May 22, 2013|
|Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving||May 21, 2013|
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
- RSS Feeds
- Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- Designing Electronics with Linux
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- New Products
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- What's the tweeting protocol?
- Kernel Problem
9 hours 16 min ago
- BASH script to log IPs on public web server
13 hours 43 min ago
17 hours 18 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
17 hours 51 min ago
- All the articles you talked
20 hours 14 min ago
- All the articles you talked
20 hours 18 min ago
- All the articles you talked
20 hours 19 min ago
1 day 44 min ago
- Keeping track of IP address
1 day 2 hours ago
- Roll your own dynamic dns
1 day 7 hours ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- 5-21-13, Prototyping Pi Plate Kit: Philip Kirby
- Next winner announced on 5-27-13!
Free Webinar: Hadoop
How to Build an Optimal Hadoop Cluster to Store and Maintain Unlimited Amounts of Data Using Microservers
Realizing the promise of Apache® Hadoop® requires the effective deployment of compute, memory, storage and networking to achieve optimal results. With its flexibility and multitude of options, it is easy to over or under provision the server infrastructure, resulting in poor performance and high TCO. Join us for an in depth, technical discussion with industry experts from leading Hadoop and server companies who will provide insights into the key considerations for designing and deploying an optimal Hadoop cluster.
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
- Why should you consider the typical workload patterns when making your hardware decisions?
- Are all microservers created equal for Hadoop deployments?
- How do I plan for expansion if I require more compute, memory, storage or networking?